A study abroad program undertaken at a foreign law school provides an excellent opportunity for you to expand your knowledge of comparative and international legal issues.
Credits for semester abroad programs are governed by the rules of FIU College of Law and the American Bar Association (ABA). Semester exchange programs have been initiated with the following law schools:
- Universidad de los Andes (Bogota, Colombia)
- University for Peace (Colon, Costa Rica)
- University of Puerto Rico School of Law (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
- Università degli Studi di Perugia (Perugia, Italy)
As a result of continuing relationships with the following law schools, informal agreements have been initiated with the following schools:
Students may apply for one semester abroad in either their second or third year of law study. Students must be in good academic standing at the law school and must be fluent in the language of the host country. An examination of foreign language proficiency is required. Students will be awarded a maximum of 15 credit hours toward their J.D. degree for academic work successfully completed at an approved foreign institution. A minimum final grade of C or its equivalent is required for transfer credit. This experience is of considerable benefit to those thinking of legal practice in the international arena.
Students participating in these programs will be registered at FIU for the appropriate number of credits by the Registrar (the International Student Exchange course) during their semester(s) abroad. This course is not graded or credit bearing for the purposes of your transcript and serves strictly as a placeholder for the courses you will actually enroll in at the host institution. Registration in this course allows you to pay FIU tuition and fees for your program and ensures the timely release of your Financial Aid.
- Students who have completed their first-year or equivalent, if part-time, may submit applications for semester abroad programs. Generally, students should complete all of their required courses at FIU College of Law before seeking to study abroad, so students are generally in their second or third year before undertaking this semester study abroad program.
- Credit is given for grades earned of “C” or better, “Pass,” or the equivalent. Grades that satisfy criteria set forth in the section on Transfer Credits in the Student Handbook may be transferred to FIU College of Law. Students must be fluent in the language of instruction at the foreign institution and may be tested here at FIU for language proficiency prior to their departure.
- Students must receive pre-approval from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at FIU College of Law beginning any semester study abroad program. Courses taken or completed before approval is granted will not be transferred to FIU College of Law.
- For your information the ABA Criteria for Approval of Individual Student Study Abroad for Academic Credit can be found at http://www.abanet.org/legaled/studyabroad/abroad.html.
- Students need to apply no later than October 1 for Spring Semester and March 1 for Fall Semester, the earlier the better.
- Students must submit an application to the Associate Dean of International & Graduate Studies. Through the office of International & Graduate Studies, you will be assisted in applying to the host school, counseled for international travel and supervised. Students who are accepted by the foreign institution and have received approval from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at FIU College of Law may then submit a list of courses.
- Depending on the Exchange Agreement between the two universities, tuition will be explained to you.
- The ABA Criteria for Approval of Individual Student Study Abroad for Academic Credit requires a full-time faculty member from FIU College of Law and one professor from the foreign institution to supervise the student’s course of study.
- Students are strongly encouraged to fulfill all FIU College of Law’s required courses before studying abroad. This includes requirements for LSV III, seminar, litigation and alternative dispute resolution courses, and community service. The semester or year abroad may be used to fulfill the international requirement.
- Students may receive financial aid only for credits transferred back to FIU College of Law.
- Students may apply for student loans to cover fees, transportation, and the cost of living expenses while at the foreign institution. The FIU College of Law Office of Admissions and Financial Aid will administer federal loans as if the student were studying in the United States once the host institution sends the Consortium Agreement and proof of enrollment.
- Students may also be eligible for scholarships awarded specifically for study abroad. Check fastweb.com for information on many scholarships and loans.
- For more information regarding financial aid, please contact FIU College of Law Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.
Passports and other Information
- Passports are required for entry into or for extended stays in most foreign countries. For extended stays, (the duration varies from country to country), most foreign countries also require visas. For the most recent travel information, including information regarding passports, visas, foreign consulates in the U.S., and travel warnings see www.state.gov/travel/.
- Most countries require proof of your ability to cover your living expenses while living in their country. Proof often may be satisfied by obtaining a certified letter from a bank or from the financial aid office at FIU College of Law or the host foreign school, indicating the amount of your financial aid package.
Other Important Considerations and Helpful Hints
- Students are strongly advised to begin the application process as early as possible, as it requires approval from several parties; this task is a lengthy and time consuming.
- You need to develop a reliable contact and gain permission from a full-time professor at the host foreign law school. It is wise to develop a specific contact, who you can call at the foreign university, who is able to answer questions regarding your intended course of study. The Office of International & Graduate Studies will supply you with contacts of universities with which we have agreements